Effective immediately, US President Donald Trump’s administration has prohibited all residents of New York State from enrolling in or renewing Trusted Traveler Program memberships such as NEXUS and Global Entry. These programs allow pre-screened travelers to expedite their way through airports and have smooth entrances through foreign borders.

The US Department of Homeland Security made this decision in reaction to New York State enacting the Green Light Law preventing federal authorities from having access to driving records and vehicle registration information. The effect of the Green Light Law is that undocumented individuals in New York could obtain drivers’ licenses despite their immigration status. Furthermore, the Trump Administration also believes that this New York legislation prevents the investigation of ICE targets. Many have said that the Trump administration’s ban on New Yorkers enrolling or re-enrolling in Nexus is simply mean-spirited and intended to punish New York for being a Sanctuary City.

What is the impact for Canadian? Firstly, we anticipate longer processing times for Trusted Traveler Program applications. Secondly, Canadians should expect the unexpected when it comes to Trusted Traveler Programs such as Nexus. As the Trump Administration has shown, entry to the US for non-Americans can be a very fickle matter. We suggest that individuals who are considering applying for Trusted Traveler Program memberships or need renew their status, should do so sooner rather than later. Nothing is certain when US borders are concerned and the potential for additional unfavorable changes regarding NEXUS and Global Entry is very real.